One year ago today, Trixie Tracker launched. The past year has been a very educational one; it taught me a lot about creating and running a business as opposed to a fun design project. I wasn’t too focused on the business side of things when I was developing the beta. I loved designing, testing, coding, surveying, copy-writing, deploying, working with beta-testers and developing with developers, and generally making the site as good as I could. I didn’t spend a whole of a lot of time thinking about how a business works, and I fell into the question mark trap. You know, step number two:
1. Cool idea
I shouldn’t have been so naive.
The real issue is that I had no expectation of the company making any money while we were in beta. How could it? But once we threw the credit card processing switch, everything changed. Now the company didn’t have an excuse to be a freeloader. It’s funny how a labor of love becomes a cold economic calculation overnight. I quickly realized that I needed to subsidize the company (as well as take care of my family) so I got a job and let Trixie Tracker run.
Well, it’s been running for a year now without any problems. We did a good job building it in beta. But I wasn’t able to invest anything else into the company until it proved itself. Trixie Tracker had to sink or swim. I’m happy to say that it’s swimming. The application has proved itself and can start paying for its own development. That’s exciting to me. Of course, I’m sorry that I haven’t been able to develop all along. But I’m interested in where Trixie Tracker is going to be 3, 4, 5 years from now. And that may mean that I have to take a slow steady course. It’s better than crashing and burning.
Is it a good idea to reveal so much about a business in a personal blog? In my case, I think so. Since the day I signed up my first beta tester, I felt that users were trusting me with some very special data. It’s important to return that trust and be transparent. The hardest thing I’ve had to type repeatedly on the Trixie Tracker forums is, “that’s a great idea, but I don’t know when it would be implemented”. We’re going to be moving slow, but we are moving forward.
Thanks to everyone who has supported Trixie Tracker over the last year and helped us grow. It means the world to read about how the application is helping parents from all over. Here’s to another year!